All Posts Tagged: obesity

Dietitian Melbourne

Is sugar really that bad?

Sugar appears to be in all our food products nowadays.

It’s in obvious sources such as biscuits, soft drinks, chocolate and cakes to less obvious foods like tomato sauce, breakfast cereals and pasta sauce.

Sugar is continuing to build a bad reputation as a contributing factor to many health conditions, and rightly so.

We’re eating lots of processed food

Most of our energy intake is now coming from processed and packaged food and drinks, such as cereal and soft drinks, which may contain added sugar. More than half of Australians are eating more sugar than recommended.

You might be surprised at how many of our food products contain added sugar – even the ones that don’t necessarily taste sweet! And food that is marketed as health food is often packed full of sugar.

Moderate your sugar intake (especially if you have diabetes)

While everyone should be moderating their sugar intake, it’s particularly true for those who are managing diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels as a result of an issue with the hormone insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, while Type 2 diabetes is where the body is resistant to insulin.

If diabetes is not controlled, blood sugar levels rise. This can cause numerous long-term complications including nerve and blood vessel damage, vision impairment, kidney disease and heart disease.

While eating sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it can lead to gaining weight if eaten in excess, and obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Pay attention to carbohydrates

Sugar, and carbohydrates in general, are particularly important when managing diabetes.

One of the biggest impacts on our blood sugar levels is what we eat, especially carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, noodles, potato, biscuits, legumes, fruit, cakes etc).

All carbohydrate foods will be broken down into sugar (the simplest form of carbohydrate) in the body once it is consumed, no matter the type of carbohydrate.

Dietitian Pascoe Vale

Once the food is broken down into sugar, it’s absorbed into our blood stream. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on how much sugar and carbohydrates you are eating overall.

Stick to small portions (½-1 cup cooked) of carbohydrate foods at each meal and watch for any extra treats in between meals.

High GI vs low GI

Carbohydrate foods that are higher in simple sugars and low in fibre (white bread, biscuits, soft drink) will have a larger, negative impact on blood sugar levels.

These types of foods are usually referred to as high GI (glycaemic index) and lead to large spikes in blood sugar levels and poorer blood sugar control.

Carbohydrates that contain more fibre and less simple sugars (wholegrain bread, quinoa, legumes) are referred to as low GI, and will not result in large spikes of blood sugar levels.

These are much better choices for blood sugar control. It’s best to eat mainly low GI carbohydrates whenever possible.

Aim for a healthy diet

A healthy diet will lower your diabetes risk or help you to manage the condition better.

Watch portion sizes, opt for plenty of vegetables, include moderate amounts of low GI wholegrains, fruits, healthy fats and lean proteins.

You can still include treats but try to limit portion size and frequency to special occasions!

Got any questions about diabetes? Need help with your diet? Book an appointment with our in-house dietitian in Pascoe Vale today.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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General health check Pascoe Vale Melbourne

General health checks in Pascoe Vale

When was the last time you had a general health check?

Getting your vital signs regularly checked by a doctor is a simple and effective way to manage your health.

This can include the measurement of your temperature, respiratory rate, pulse and blood pressure. These numbers provide critical information (hence the name ‘vital’) about your state of health.

In particular, they:

  • can identify the existence of an acute medical problem
  • can determine the magnitude of an illness, and
  • are a marker of chronic diseases.

At PVH Medical we go a step further than checking your vital signs. When we assess your overall health, we consider both non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors.

Non-modifiable risk factors

These are the things you can’t change, and may include:

Age

While you can’t turn back the clock, you can add years to your life by eating well, exercising, managing stress, not smoking and getting quality sleep.

Gender

While the average life expectancy in Australia is among the highest in the world, women are outliving men by approximately four years.

Family history

Your own risk of developing health issues can increase if there is history of it in your family.

Personal history

If you’ve had health problems in the past, minimising your risk with a healthy lifestyle is essential.

Modifiable risk factors

These are risk factors that can be reduced if you make lifestyle changes:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight
  • High blood cholesterol.

Health checks at PVH Medical

We can run a range of tests to help you manage your health. For example:

  • Blood pressure – for hypertension, stroke and heart attack
  • Blood glucose levels – for diabetes
  • Cholesterol – for heart disease
  • Skin check – for skin cancers
  • Body composition, such as your weight and waist measurement
  • Annual health assessments for people over age 75
  • A once-off health check for those between age 45-49 with risk of developing chronic disease.

We can also assess things like your nutrition, stress levels and emotional wellbeing, and refer you to a psychologist or specialist if need be.

We also have on-site pathology in Pascoe Vale to assist.

Book a health check in Pascoe Vale today

Getting your vital signs checked, and having some basic health tests done, is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Call 9304 0500 or book online today to take a strong step towards a long, healthy and happy life.

 

Source: UCSD and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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